Back in 1997, well before the world got its hands on Twilight
, supernatural romances for teens were not really the biggest genre out there. One of the more notable of the titles was Blood and Chocolate
by Annette Curtis Klause, who also wrote a vampire novel
before this one.
The novel revolved around 16 year old Vivian Gandillon, pretty much a normal high school outsider... who happens to be a werewolf. Though her family once lived in a secluded town where they could all be themselves, they were forced to flee in exile when one of their pack accidently murdered a human. It is the only rule they hold sacred, the rule that protects them from discovery and extinction. So now they are scattered across a small town, mingling with humanity. Vivian also lost her father in the move, and struggles to hold herself and her mother together.
For the first time, she attends a normal school, and there she meets a human boy, Aiden. He is quirky, an outsider like her. And she finds his kindness a refreshing change of pace from her squabbling pack mates. Her family of werewolves is leaderless with her father dead, and the battle for succession is fearsome. Vivian finds herself unwittingly drawn into the center of the leadership quarrel, and in the sights of a werewolf who would like to call her his own.
Torn between the human world and that of the pack, Vivian struggles to find herself and where she belongs. What does she want more, blood or chocolate?
There was a film version released in theaters in 2007 that is unfortunately In Name Only
This work contains examples of:
- Betty and Veronica: Gabriel and Aiden
- Coming of Age Story
- Daddy's Girl: Vivian
- Derailing Love Interests: Aiden
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: More pointedly present in the movie, as it becomes tradition instead of a forbidden practice.
- Interspecies Romance: Between Aiden, a human, and Vivian, a werewolf.
- Literary Allusion Title: To Steppenwolf.
- Love Dodecahedron: Vivian wrestles with her affection for Aiden and her growing appreciation for Gabriel; meanwhile, her childhood friend Rafe is in love with her, but willing to settle for the crazy and reckless Astrid, who has her sights on Gabriel so she can be the new alpha's consort.
- Meaningful Name: Vivian means "lively". In addition to the obvious, another female protagonist's name means "(eternal) life"...
- More Deadly Than The Male: Alpha fights: widely announced, pretty standard dominance fare. Alpha mate fights: no warning, no challenge, straight to No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Muggle and Magical Love Triangle: Vivian has to choose between Gabriel (werewolf) and Aiden (human).
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Rafe hopes to kill Aiden, though whether it's because he wants Vivian or because his relationship with Astrid has driven him to it is left unclear.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Averted with Aiden, who admires Vivian and even calls her an amazon. It never comes up with Gabriel.
- In Name Only: The film adaptation has nothing to do with the novel, save for werewolves, some of the characters' names and the title.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The werewolves of the novel are their own species, separate from humanity. They call themselves homo lupus. The mystics in the pack believe they are children of a moon goddess, while the more scientific-minded believe they split from humanity millions of years ago, perhaps evolving from a mutant strain of small mammals.
- The Power of Love: A kiss from Gabriel is what it takes to break Vivian's Shape Shifter Mode Lock.
- Shape Shifter Mode Lock: Towards the end of the book, Vivian gets stuck halfway between wolf and human form, a symbol of her still feeling stuck between her human and werewolf sides.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Rafe at least sees himself like this.